Students look forward to summer often for the freedom from academic demands. It is necessary to relax and enjoy some time away from the textbooks. However, not actively engaging your brain for several months or weeks may make it difficult to transition back in to the “school mode” when classes roll around again. There are many fun, easy ways to continue engaging your brain for growth.
- Music–learning to play an instrument is a great way to exercise many parts of your brain. You will learn to count beats, read sheet music, and sharpen hand-eye coordination. Learning to play an instrument is a fun way to keep your brain engaged in learning during the summer.
- ACTIVITY: Turn up your favorite summer tunes and try to learn your favorite song on an instrument (bonus: sing the song while you play for a greater challenge).
- Dance--learning some coordinated dance moves is one way to keep your memory sharp this summer. Matching up dance steps to a beat or rhythm will not only sharpen your memory, it will provide a way to make new friends and exercise.
- ACTIVITY: Gather some friends and choreograph dances to a few songs (bonus: perform the dances and have someone record your performance).
- Art–grab a blank canvas, paint, oil pastels, colorful paper, and any other medium that you can use to create a masterpiece. The possibilities with a blank canvas are endless; therefore, activate your creativity and get to work! It is always good to continue challenging the mind with new opportunities and doing something artistic is a great way to start.
- ACTIVITY: Sign up for a pottery or painting class for a guided art lesson (bonus: decide on a picture–such as a house, castle, or horse–and use only what you can find in your backyard to create the picture or 3D representation).
- Photography--this is a great alternative if you are not a fan of painting or constructing art pieces. Taking photos on a camera or cell phone is an easy way to get your brain working (it even requires the use of basic math skills to take photos).
- ACTIVITY: design a photo scavenger hunt to complete in your neighborhood or city (bonus: include challenging riddles as hints).
- Puzzles–puzzles are a classic way to engage your problem-solving skills in a fun way. Puzzles range in size and difficulty allowing plenty of room for growth.
- ACTIVITY: create your own puzzle by drawing out or printing a picture on card stock paper. Laminate the card stock and cut it into many pieces for a challenging DIY puzzle (bonus: use a black and white picture for added difficulty)
- Matching Games–similar to puzzles, matching games are a great way to refine your brain mapping skills and improve your memory. Matching games can be bought; however, they can also be homemade.
- ACTIVITY: invite some friends over and create matching games by themes. For example, create a Star Wars themed matching game and draw Star Wars characters on equally cut card stock squares (bonus: put a math equation on one piece and the answer on “match” for an added challenge)
Many of these activities will help you engage your brain in a fun way. These activities will also help you practice understand and utilize your learning style before the school year starts up again. Refining your memory, mastering problem-solving, and increasing creativity take practice. Try some of these fun activities from the comforts of your home today!